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Events – the ultimate tool for marketers to reach their audience

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MUMBAI: Events are an effective and economical way for companies to interact directly with their target audience. It is the interactive and personal nature of this medium that exerts a much more noticeable effect on target audiences at an individual level. As an example, a person is far more likely to remember a cricket game he went for where McDonald's happened to be a title sponsor, as opposed to a ten-second advertisement for McDonald's that he saw on YouTube; which he’d probably try and skip anyway. Noticing the raw power of events as a platform to engage with one’s audience, marketers have wisely opted to seriously consider them as the viable tool they are.

Perhaps two of the biggest reasons for the current interest in events as a marketing tool are the decline in traditional media viewership and the oversaturation of social media platforms with brand messaging. Events in a sense, serve as an easy way for brand managers to enable their communication to break free of the clutter that plagues most other forms of marketing. Here are some of the reasons why marketers choose events as a central component of their integrated marketing strategy:

Memorability

Large-scale events are inherently interesting. As a result, they act as magnets for (free) mainstream press coverage and public interest, especially when compared to social media or advertising campaigns, in which excitement is generally restricted to the industry itself. For example, the recent Bryan Adams concert in Mumbai will be remembered and talked about by attendees for years, if not decades to come, but few if any could recall the latest ad campaign by OLX. When a company attaches itself to an event, be it as grand as the IPL, majestic as Beauty and the Beast, or out-of-the-box as the Pro Kabaddi League, it essentially rides on the goodwill and connection that people have to those individual properties.

Customisability

Events, just like any other platform of communication, can be customised to match the exact requirements, expectations, and desires of the target audience while simultaneously accommodating the brand’s messaging. For example, MSI, Alienware, and Intel, all regularly organise or associate with gaming tournaments because these types of events attract their target audience; young men who enjoy video games. This rationale holds true for brands across various sectors for as long as a brand is able to craft an experience (or at least tie-up with a property that can that is irresistible to their specific audience.

Return on investment

While events do have a comparatively higher cost per view (CPV) from the perspective of a brand when compared to an advertising campaign, the return on investment remains exceptionally competitive given their high recall value. One of the core objectives of marketing is customer engagement, and few if any channels of communication have the ability to generate a profound response from the audience quite like an event. For example, if DC were to set up a kiosk at Comicon, the response they would receive from attendees would be far more interactive than it would be if they spent the very same portion of the marketing budget on a billboard. For this reason, the ROI on event sponsorships should not be discounted.

Distribution of risks

Unlike advertisements which can only have a single sponsor, events, typically large ones like sports leagues, film award ceremonies, and music concerts, can have multiple stakeholders. This distributes the costs and allows all parties to benefit from their association with the aforementioned properties. As an example, in the case of an event like the IPL, no single company could ever hope to afford to sponsor the entire tournament. This is why each team has their own set of sponsors, as does the event itself.

The marketing landscape in India is evolving continuously as brands escape the clutches of conservatism and explore new avenues of reaching consumers. This renaissance has resulted in an equally massive evolution in the quality, quantity, and types of events that are now emerging across India. It would be safe to say that synergy of both industries is guaranteed to produces some absolute masterpieces in the near future.    

The author is managing director, Dome Entertainment Pvt Ltd. The views expressed here are his own and Indiantelevision.com may not subscribe to them.

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